Property Damage Repairs Prior to Notice of Loss to Insurer Forfeits Coverage

A recent Florida appellate opinion gives more teeth to repercussions for failing to give timely notice of a property damage loss to an insurer. In De la Rosa v. Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, 2018 WL 2246781 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018), a plumbing leak in the insureds’ residence resulted in interior water damage. Rather than report the claim immediately to the insurer, the insureds first completed all of the repairs. While the insureds retained some of the damaged plumbing components they
Continue reading...

Landers and Restoring Time for Appraisals

Troy Beecher, an experienced insurance coverage attorney in Goldberg Segalla’s Orlando office, scrutinizes a recent decision from a Florida District Court of Appeal, Landers v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, which liberalizes and encourages insurance bad faith litigation in Florida.  Troy delves into the decision and why it undermines the purpose behind civil remedy notices.  Troy otherwise discusses how the court neutered safeguards to a flood of bad faith action litigation stemming from property coverage disputes.  Troy also shares his predictions
Continue reading...

Insurance Companies May Get the Last Say Regarding Arming Teachers

Three months after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and just days after the Santa Fe High School shooting, the debate continues to rage over whether the presence of armed teachers and/or officers would increase school safety, or just increase the risk of a shooting. The idea’s not new – arming teachers was the subject of serious debate after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, but the idea was quickly shut down in most areas by insurers.  Now, the spotlight
Continue reading...

The ALI Votes to Approve the “Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance”

After nearly a decade of debate and controversy, the American Law Institute (ALI) voted to approve the much anticipated Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance (RLLI) at its annual meeting on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.  The project that ultimately resulted in the RLLI was launched in 2010, under the direction of Reporter Tom Baker of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and Associate Reporter Kyle D. Logue of Michigan Law School, and produced nearly 30 drafts through the lifecycle of the project, before
Continue reading...

Introducing Timely Notice: What’s New and Exciting in Insurance Law

Timely Notice is your on-the-go source for sharp takes and expert analysis of the latest trends, breaking news, and sea-changes in global insurance law and the insurance marketplace. With episodes hosted by Goldberg Segalla partners, including Jonathan Schwartz and Sharon Angelino, Timely Notice offers intelligent insights, frequently delivered, and in easy-to-digest episodes you can access any time. The podcast will feature discussions with outside and in-house counsel, claims professionals, underwriters, brokers, and other insurance industry professionals. Whether you listen on your
Continue reading...

A Window Opens? Are Defective Product Construction Defect Claims Covered Under Pennsylvania Law?

A recent decision from a Pennsylvania court highlights tension in Pennsylvania law regarding whether a construction defect claim involving consequential damages caused by a defective product involves a covered “occurrence.” Sapa Extrusions, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 2018 WL 2045496 (M.D. Pa. May 1, 2018). In this coverage action, the insured, a window frame manufacturer, sought a declaratory judgment that it was owed coverage for an underlying action brought by a customer that used the window frames to manufacture
Continue reading...

Pro Rata v. All Sums: When Viking Pump Applies

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently changed the tune of a decades-old insurance coverage dispute when it decided to apportion liability exposure for multiple instances of environmental contamination on an “all sums” basis. In the matter of Olin v. OneBeacon, Olin, a manufacturing company, sought indemnity for remediation costs and other sums related to pollution cleanup at five of its manufacturing sites under several excess general liability policies. OneBeacon insured Olin under three excess umbrella
Continue reading...

Illinois Supreme Court Puts the Brakes on Named Driver Exclusion

The Illinois Supreme Court held in Thounsavath v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 2018 IL 122558, that an insurer cannot rely on a named driver exclusion to deny underinsured motorist coverage to its insured because the exclusion is unenforceable under Illinois’ mandatory automobile insurance statutory scheme and the state’s public policy. State Farm provided automobile liability and uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM)coverage to Thounsavath, which contained a named driver exclusion stating no liability shall attach “while any motor vehicle
Continue reading...

It’s not “12 Corners” — Court Holds Answer does not Trigger Duty to Defend

It is a well-known insurance principle that the duty to defend is determined using the “Eight-Corners” method — comparing the four corners of the complaint to the four corners of the insurance policy. A federal court in Illinois recently maintained this principle and declined to extend coverage to an insured based allegations in the insured’s answer, limiting the analysis of the duty to defend only to the facts alleged in the complaint, and not the answer, unless “unusual circumstances” exist.
Continue reading...

Viking Pump’s Legacy: Virginia Court Holds “All Sums” Approach Applies to Excess “Quota Share” Layer Where Underlying Coverage was Exhausted

A federal judge in Virginia held the New York Court of Appeals decision in In re Viking Pump, Inc., 27 N.Y.3d 244 (N.Y. 2016) allowed for an insurer to apply an “all sums” allocation and seek the full limits of excess insurance policies — that formed part of a multi-year “quota share” layer — in a single year, without first establishing that the claims constituted a single loss or occurrence that is covered in whole or in part under another
Continue reading...